With coronavirus deaths breaking a record yesterday—more than 2,760 Americans gone within 24 hours—you're right to be concerned about catching COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned yesterday of exactly what may put you in danger—and put you at risk of endangering someone else. "It really is a precarious situation, very unfortunate for us," he said of the current surge, which may soon be a "surge on top of a surge." "But I think we just have to do the kinds of things to limit the possibility of there being spread." Read on to find out if you should assume you're infected, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Assume You are Infected and Dangerous to Others, If You Did This
"Americans who celebrated Thanksgiving with other people outside their household should assume they are infectious and a 'dangerous to others,' the White House Coronavirus Task Force is warning in a startling new report," according to ABC News, which obtained the 413-page assessment of the pandemic. "Delivered Nov. 29 to the nation's governors, but not released publicly, President Donald Trump's top pandemic advisers said it's up to state and local public health officials to alert the public as COVID-19 cases hit an all-time high."
"It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health," says the report. "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household," the task force wrote. "Most likely, you will not have symptoms; however, you are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately," the group added.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained the meaning on ABC News Prime. "We have to be really very careful—what we call community spread is generally spread by people who are not symptomatic," he said. "And the chances of a younger person who's infected of being not symptomatic is certainly pretty good. Like about 40 to 45% of the infections are people who don't have any symptoms. That's the innocent, inadvertent spreading of infection. So that was what we meant by that. If you're going to be in a situation where either you've traveled, you've been at an airport, you've been at a crowded train station, you've been in a congregate setting—really, you need to assume, as strange as that seems, you need to assume that you might actually be infected even though you have no symptoms. And for that reason wear a mask so that you can protect those around you."
Dr. Fauci clarified further: "Particularly if, when you're going home to the family, you might have an elderly individual or someone with an underlying condition. If they get infected, it may not be like you namely with no symptoms. It may be. They'll wind up in the hospital with a serious consequence." To be blunt, that serious consequence can mean at worse, death, possibly in an overflowing hospital, and can include Post-COVID Syndrome, a debilitating situation in which unexplained symptoms last for months, possibly a lifetime. "That's happening all around us," said Fauci. "This isn't made up. This is the reality of what's going on right now in our country. We had over 2,000 deaths yesterday. We have between 100 and 200,000 infections per day. We have 99,000 hospitalizations. That's real stuff that's not fake. And that's the reason why we give these kinds of warnings of what people need to do."
How to Survive the Pandemic
As the doctor says: "This is real." Follow Fauci's fundamentals—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with, practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.